'16 and Pregnant': Nikkole
In this week's episode we're introduced to Nikkole of Monroe, Mich.
At 15 (at the time of pregnancy), the Paris Hilton-lookalike is about to begin her junior year of high school. We learn she's a cheerleader who considers toilet papering people's houses one of her favorite pastimes ... and she's skilled at squashing those pesky yellow cones during driving tests. Viewers also learn that when it comes to protected sex, Nikkole gets an F, revealing that she and on-again, off-again boyfriend Josh have never used condoms. Never? Not even once? That is a big fail. So it's no surprise that their latex-free relationship would eventually produce a child.
Josh, she says, dealt with the situation by suggesting abortion and later breaking up with her. Rikki, Nikkole's mom (wow, that was a lot of Ks), kicked the teen out for a day.
But things between mother and daughter have cooled. Nikkole is back at home. And Rikki has accepted the situation. And in a rare moment in the series, we see mother and daughter communicate--without screaming fits and slamming doors. Rikki shared how she initially feared what people would think of her as a mother when seeing her pregnant teen daughter. And she shared her disappointment in Nikkole for getting herself in the predicament. But Rikki also vowed to walk her daughter through the journey.
A good thing, since Nikkole is definitely still a child--sharing her disgust of the whole birthing process. And how did Josh demonstrate that he's still in need of timeouts?
Oh, let me count the ways.
When at a doctor's appointment with Nikkole, he fusses with the equipment and, like the little boy that he is, refuses to hold her hand. When Nikkole is at a friend's house and Josh calls to tell her to meet up with him, he also uses the phone time to insult Nikkole's friend.
Does Nikkole do anything? Hardly. When it's time for Nikkole to find a homecoming dress that can stretch over her burgeoning belly, baby Josh whines and complains for her to hurry up. When it's time for him to meet her at a dance like he promised (he couldn't actually attend the dance since he was expelled), he doesn't show up. And when they finally get together to talk and Nikkole shares her fear that she won't be able to depend on him, he says: "I'm done talking about this. Everything is about you, you, you. I want someone in my corner."
Apparently he didn't get the memo. Hello! She's pregnant!
Nikkole, unable to sleep because of her massive size, decides to induce her labor; when asked if she was worried it will mean being in labor for two days, she simply says, "I'll get over it" and, in a moment of realization, giggles. If only it were that simple, Nikkole.
She goes through with it. And so starts the hours (and hours ... and more hours) of labor. In between the intense contractions, Josh found yet more ways to demonstrate his immaturity. Whether it was finding Nikkole's discomfort amusing or the annoying comments ("You're tired? You slept all day" or "Move over, you're taking up all the bed") or playing around with the medical equipment, it was as if Josh was going through the terrible twos ... again.
Maybe he was just showing Nikkole the importance of discipline? Ha! Not likely.
And even if he was, she would not pass the test. Things would get only worse when Josh chose to pick a fight with Mama Bear. Bad move, Josh. Really bad move. Nikkole, granted, was in labor, so being a referee wasn't her main concern. But Josh's mom took way too long to set him straight: "Suck it up and act like a grownup." Seems Josh's idea of that is texting.
Where is the MTV reality show that gives a reality check to teen dads? Because one is needed.
Baby Lyle eventually made his way out. But when it comes time for mom and baby to go home, they do so without Josh, who is now banned from Nikkole's home.
This is where things really get real. There Nikkole is, with her baby. When Lyle spits up milk, her first thought is to lay him down. But her mom is there to help. When she tells Nikkole to hold Lyle and burp him and more milk spews out, Nikkole's reaction is, "That's disgusting." And when a friend comes over for a visit, Nikkole offers this PSA: "They had to cut my crotch open so they could get him out."
If every episode started with that statement, the nation's teen pregnancy rate might drop significantly. OK, that's probably wishful thinking, but it sure scared me straight ... even if I was aware of that danger before this reality series.
In an attempt to smooth things over, Nikkole persuades her mom and Josh to sit at the same table for dinner. Matters get only worse, as Josh--smug as ever--makes no attempt to own up to his behavior. He does, however, succeed at the seemingly impossible task of acting more immature, when days later he dumps Nikkole for another girl: "I'm just not ready to totally commit myself to you."
I was hoping that moment would serve as a wake-up call. That a light bulb would go off in Nikkole's head. That she would finally get the strength to move on. Instead she offered this: "I'm not going to be her forever." Huh? So ... does that mean you'll be around for a while? Have more respect for yourself, Nikkole. Sure, he's the father of the baby and in a perfect world you and Josh would live happily ever after. But it's time to realize this isn't a fairy tale.
And, in some ways, I think she realizes that. Nikkole isn't the party animal looking for a way out of her responsibilities. She's getting up in the wee hours of the night when the baby cries. She's the one burping Lyle. The one changing his diapers. She's the one growing up.
So Show Trackers, what did you think of this episode? Found yourself in a similar situation? Share your experiences.